Friday, May 31, 2019

Joplin babysitter's friend faces child pornography charges, allegedly fondled underage boys

The live-in friend of a Joplin babysitter was charged in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri Wednesday with receiving child pornography.

The Joplin Police Department's investigation into allegations against David Pierce, 51, Joplin, began after a hotline call was made about a seven-year-old boy's inappropriate actions at school, according to the complaint.

(Note: This post has been edited to remove references in the headline and the opening paragraph to Pierce being the boyfriend of the babysitter. Though the reference came directly from the court documents, multiple sources have confirmed to the Turner Report that Pierce was not the babysitter's boyfriend, but was staying with her temporarily.)

Under questioning at the Children's Center, the boy said he had watched videos of sex and graphically described their content and that his babysitter, Dave, had showed them to him on his phone while the boy was at the babysitter's house, the complaint said.

The boy said "Dave" also touched him inappropriately.

The babysitter acknowledged that she took care of the boy, as well as another boy.

Pierce denied showing the boy pornography, but he said he let the seven-year-old use his phone to play games and watch YouTube videos.

When Detective Adam New asked Pierce if he had fondled the boy, Pierce "replied that he never intentionally touched (the boy) inappropriately."

Questioning of the second child indicated Pierce had shown that boy pornography, as well, according to the complaint.

After obtaining a search warrant, investigators did a forensic examination of Pierce's phone and found 1,217 child pornography images, the complaint said.

Preliminary hearing and detention hearing for Pierce are scheduled for 2:45 p.m. Monday at the federal court in Springfield.

Billy Long after tornado: Just as Joplin did, I have no doubt Carl Junction will recover and rebuild

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

Those of us in southwest Missouri know just how devastating a natural disaster can be and May 22nd is a day we could probably live without.

Overall, it has been a tough year for our part of the country, from severe flooding and now an influx of devastating tornadoes. 

While we will never forget these catastrophic events, it’s important to remind ourselves that we will recover and rebuild.

On Sunday, May 22, 2011, a devastating EF-5 tornado swept through Joplin causing 161 fatalities and over 1,100 injuries. And on the eight-year anniversary of one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history, Missouri was once again hit with severe weather and multiple tornadoes throughout the state. 

Although the tornados and devastation missed Joplin this time, one did touch down in Carl Junction, less than 10 miles away. In just 14 minutes, 19 homes were destroyed, many were severely damaged, a number of people were injured, and thousands were left without power.

In the aftermath of this horrific disaster, I visited Carl Junction to survey the damage, encourage those who were impacted and offered assistance. As I saw homes torn apart, trees completely uprooted, and debris everywhere, I was reminded once again on why southwest Missouri is so special and unique - our strong sense of community and ability to come together in a time of need. 

As Chief of Police Delmar Haase and City Administrator Steve Lawver and I toured the area it was heartwarming to see all the families, neighbors, friends and volunteers helping one another. At one point, a couple approached me with tears in their eyes appreciative for all the support in such a time of need.

I am fortunate to represent such a resilient and strong group of people. In the aftermath of these storms, there’s a role we can all play. 

My office has reached out to and been in contact with businesses nationwide and FEMA. I have remained in close contact with Governor Parson and local officials. If you are in need of assistance in the aftermath of these storms, contact your local county or municipal emergency management director here:

In addition, my local offices are available to assist in any way possible and can be reached at: Springfield (417) 889-1800, Joplin (417) 781-1041.

Just as Joplin did, I have no doubt Carl Junction will recover and rebuild.

Parson issues statement after court issues temporary stay preventing closing of St. Louis abortion clinic

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

Today, Governor Mike Parson issued the following statement after the 22nd Circuit Court of St. Louis, Missouri, issued a temporary restraining order:

"Following today’s ruling, the State will soon have the opportunity for a prompt legal review of our state health regulators' serious health and safety concerns regarding Planned Parenthood’s abortion facility in St. Louis. We are committed to and take seriously our duty to ensure that all health facilities in Missouri follow the law, abide by regulations, and protect the safety of patients."

Government asks for 46-month sentence for embezzling Vernon County Ambulance bookkeeper

In a sentencing memorandum filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, the government rccommended a 46-month prison sentence for former Vernon County Ambulance bookkeeper Tina Werner, 54, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of wire fraud in connection with the embezzlement of more than a quarter of a million dollars.

In Werner's sentencing memorandum, her attorney argues for probation noting her service as a paramedic, the post traumatic stress syndrome suffered by many paramedics, the fact that she was placed in charge of a complex bookkeeping system despite having no training and her embezzling coming as a result of the end of her 29-year marriage and her romantic relationship with her co-defendant, James D. McKenzie, 51, the former Ambulance District director.

The government counters that Werner and McKenzie, her long-time supervisor, had been conducting an "adulterous relationship" before the Werner marriage ended.

Werner's crime was spelled out in the government's memorandum:

In this particular case, the defendant, over the course of almost three full years, utilized her access to public funds and took advantage of the public trust bestowed upon her to steal more than $270,000 from the taxpayers of the Vernon County, Missouri Ambulance District 

While the defendant pleaded guilty to only one count of wire fraud as a part of her plea agreement, she committed numerous fraudulent transactions over these three years that would each qualify as a federal felony offense under the same statute. 

The defendant’s significant scheme was not one of necessity or survival, but greed, as evidenced by her reported adjusted gross income amounts of $55,099 and $72,387 in 2014 and 2015, respectively. 

In fact, the defendant’s scheme developed out of her desire for a nicer residence and her adulterous relationship with her married co-defendant supervisor. 

In the years relevant to this defendant’s conduct, the VCAD provided life-saving services to the approximately 20,000 citizens of the ambulance district. The VCAD was funded through tax revenue and through billing certain entities for services rendered. 

As a part of the internal operations of the VCAD, the district office provided methods and bank accounts for its employees to save money for the Christmas shopping season and to donate money for an annual toy drive. 

In addition to the defendant stealing VCAD money from its operating account and utilizing VCAD credit cards for personal benefit, she also embezzled over $95,000 from the employee Christmas account and over $111,000 from the VCAD charity toy drive account. 

While the defendant utilized over a quarter-of-a-million in taxpayer dollars for her own benefit, the district she was entrusted to serve suffered substantially, to the point of having a lien filed against it for $213,158 for unpaid payroll taxes and taking out two substantial loans after the discovery of the defendant’s fraud just to maintain its daily caretaking operations and pay outstanding debts. 

The defendant’s greed caused great risk to the well-being of Vernon County citizens.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Agenda posted for Monday Joplin City Council meeting

Monday, June 3, 2019
6:00 P.M., Council Chambers


Call To Order

Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America

Roll Call




Clifford Wert To Present An Update On Connect2Culture And Spiva Center For The Arts


Presentation And Update Of The Joplin Youth Council And Confirmation Of The Appointments: Audrey Wheeler; Kambrea Manning; Riley Peterson, Dillon Dodge, Rosalyn Jourdan, Jane Min, Cora Wesley, Jake Saunders, Chloe Bonds, Spencer Vreeland, Julian Garrett.


Finalization Of Consent Agenda


Reports And Communications


Citizen Requests And Petitions


Public Hearings


Public Hearing Procedures



AN ORDINANCE approving 1506 and 1510 S. Pearl Avenue to include in District R-3
(Apartments District), Jasper County, Missouri. 


AN ORDINANCE approving the location approximately 500 feet west of the property
addressed as 2902 N. St. Louis Avenue to include in District R-2 (Two-Family Residential
District), Jasper County, Missouri. 

Consent Agenda


May 20, 2019 Informal Council Meeting Notes


Minutes Of The May 20, 2019 City Council Meeting

  1. MAY 20, 2019.PDF


AN ORDINANCE of the city of Joplin, Missouri establishing procedures and requirements relating to construction and deployment of small wireless facilities.
  1. CB2019-003.PDF


COUNCIL BILL NO. 2019-262-AN ORDINANCE amending Chapter 29-A, the Zoning Code, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin, Missouri, by amending Appendix A, Land Use Table, by adding language to permit medical marijuana facilities in certain districts.
  1. CB2019-262.PDF


AN ORDINANCE authorizing the City of Joplin to enter into an agreement with the Missouri Department of Conservation, an agency of the State of Missouri, (“MDC”), and the National Audubon Society, Inc., a New York not-for-profit corporation, (“Audubon”), for the purpose of terminating the assignment of ground lease and memorandum of understanding between MDC and Audubon; authorizing the City of Joplin to enter into an agreement with MDC to amend the ground lease between the City of Joplin and MDC for the purpose of reducing the leased real estate; and authorizing the Interim City Manager to execute said agreements by and on behalf of the City of Joplin. 
  1. CB2019-612.PDF


AN ORDINANCE authorizing the City of Joplin to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Wildcat Glades Friends Group, a Missouri Nonprofit Corporation (“Friends Group”) for the purpose of establishing responsibilities in maintaining and operating Wildcat Park; and authorizing the Interim City Manager to execute said memorandum of understanding by and on behalf of the City of Joplin. 
  1. CB2019-613.PDF




A RESOLUTION authorizing the filing of a Seventeenth Amendment of the Round 1 Action Plan with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as required for the use of the City of Joplin’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program (Round 1); and authorizing the City Manager to execute said Amendment for and on behalf of the City of Joplin.

Ordinances - Emergency



AN ORDINANCE authorizing the acceptance with Olsson in the not to exceed amount of Two Hundred Thirty-Eight Thousand and no/100 Dollars ($238,000.00) for ADA & Sidewalk Assessment; and containing an emergency clause.


AN ORDINANCE approving a Work Authorization with Allgeier Martin & Associates in the not to exceed amount of Sixty-Five Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($65,000.00) for 2018-2019 Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Toolbox and Miscellaneous Rehab Assistance project and containing an emergency clause.


AN ORDINANCE amending the Annual Budget of the City of Joplin for the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 as adopted by Ordinance 2018-145 on October 15, 2018, to adjust appropriations and containing an emergency clause.

Ordinances - First Reading


Ordinances - Second Reading And Third Reading


Unfinished Business


New Business


News From The Public Information Officer, Lynn Onstot

Ed Martin: Mueller statement was his final and greatest abuse of power

(From Phyllis Schlafly Eagles)

As the dust settles from Robert Mueller's final public statement, it's clear his only goal is to motivate Democrats in their ridiculous quest against President Trump.

"Mueller's statement is shameful and serves only as an attempt to tip the scales for Democrats," said Ed Martin, president of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles.

"This was his final and greatest abuse of power before retiring. Even James Comey's 2016 shenanigans surrounding the Clinton email probe pale in comparison to Mueller's public statement this week. 

"He made a mockery of the office of special prosecutor by fanning the flames of political rhetoric."

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Paul Richardson: The real steel horse

(Paul Richardson's column, The Horse I Rode In On, is published weekly in the Neosho Daily News, Seneca News-Dispatch and on the Turner Report.)

It all may have started on the day of my birth but there are times in our lives where a rebirth may occur. 

Fifty-one years ago, in June a rebirth happened. I had a job at a dairy located a little over a mile from my parents’ home. Glenn Cole owned the dairy and he had hired me at the phenomenal rate of fifty cents per day to come the dairy each morning and evening at approximately the time the milking would have been completed. 

My task at that time were to feed the bottle calves and when milking operations were completed, sweep and clean out the front area of the diary where the purge tanks were located. I didn’t have to clean out the milking area as that was power washed after each milking. 

On occasion the job would expand into greater realms. It was there that I experienced my first live birth. This was not a video experience as video did not even exist but was a “in person” live experience. Bit of a shock, it was, but we need to get back to my rebirth.

In addition to the job at the dairy, I also had a paper route. Each Saturday I would make the rounds to the area homes delivering the weekly edition of the infamous Grit newspaper. This route also carried me to areas about a mile outside of the town of Newtonia. 

My parents’ home was on the eastern most side of the village putting me about a mile to the west for the furthest delivery in that direction. I had to make a delivery to the Reynolds’ household a mile to the north and the Glenn Cole’s mother and the Hundley household both of which were located a mile to the east. You can do the math but as you can see, I was covering a bit of ground.

So, in June fifty-one years ago my dad brought home a motorcycle and said, “If we can get this rig-a-running, you will have some transportation to get around on”. 

Within a couple of weeks and a vast amount of patience the motor was freed, and the engine came to life. While my dad may have intended to provide a short-term solution to a transportation issue, this generated a birth of something within my spirit that still has me riding. 

Not only is this something I do daily, it is my normal mode of transportation. Without intending to be cliché, a statement that is often heard among those that ride is that “The worst ride on a motorcycle is always better than the best ride in a cage”. For those reading this that may not be familiar with the lingo, a cage is any vehicle with an enclosed cabin, generally a car.

There have been other periods of rebirth in my life. Some more meaningful and one that is eternal, but this specific event has had such an impact. 

Not only was my transportation impacted but certain choices lead to complete alterations in lifestyles. When certain choices are made, introduction to people, subcultures, habits, and even the way one dresses can be impacted. Recently I was reminded of this.

I had ridden into Neosho and as always stopped by the Flour Box Bakery to see my dear mother. That’s what I do. That morning I was wearing my vest with all its patches and the chain vest extenders. Those vest extenders are a practical accessory that allows me to wear the same vest with or without my leather motorcycle jacket. 

A person that regularly visits the Bakery took note of the vest and asked what in world was I wearing? Obviously, this was new to them. I assumed that everyone was familiar with my normal riding attire. A short explanation followed of which I am not certain that it was fully understood. What had been noticed was just the tip of the iceberg!

It may be the result of a rebirth or may just be the way someone has been their entire life, but what we are seeing in most instances is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more below the surface. I have been sorting through many of the memories and there are so many stories to tell. The problem lies in the fact that even my dear mother has only seen the tip of the iceberg! I may have to hang on to some stories for a while longer.

State Auditor praises law requiring school volunteers to undergo background checks

(From State Auditor Nicole Galloway)

State Auditor Nicole Galloway today praised a change to Missouri law that she said will help protect children at their schools. House Bill 604, now headed to the Governor's desk, requires school districts to ensure that volunteers undergo criminal background checks before being left alone with children.

Auditor Galloway urged legislators to add the requirement after her audit of the state's sexual offender registration program last fall found background checks were mandatory for school employees, but not volunteers. State Sen. Lincoln Hough, of Springfield, introduced legislation requiring the background checks for volunteers; that language was included in HB 604, the omnibus education bill passed by the General Assembly this month with bipartisan support.

"When we find ways to better protect our kids, it's imperative to take quick action to keep those students safe," Auditor Galloway said. "As the mother of three young sons, I appreciate Sen. Hough answering my call for this change, and I urge the Governor to sign this bipartisan measure into law."

“When I was made aware of the inconsistency of when background checks were being used, I was glad to help for the safety of all children,” Sen. Hough said.

“Schools have an obligation to create an environment that is inhospitable to child sexual abuse,” said Jessica Seitz, Director of Public Policy of Missouri KidsFirst. “Failure to conduct background checks on all adults coming into contact with students alone offers more opportunities for perpetrators to form relationships, test boundaries and engage in dangerous behaviors with children. Passage of HB 604 closed a loophole in our current laws. We thank Auditor Galloway, Sen. Hough and the rest of the General Assembly for prioritizing the safety of Missouri children with this legislation.”

HB 604 requires school districts to ensure that a criminal background check is conducted for all volunteers who may be periodically left alone with students. The bill says those volunteers include, but are not limited to, persons who regularly assist in the office or library, mentor or tutor students, coach or supervise a school-sponsored activity before or after school, or chaperone students on an overnight trip.

Auditor Galloway said her office currently is conducting a follow-up to the audit of the sex offender registration program. The audit found that because the registration requirements were inadequately enforced at the local level, 1,259 registered sex offenders failed to follow the law. That number represents 7.9 percent of the almost 16,000 offenders required to register. In several counties and the city of St. Louis, the locations of over 10 percent of registered sex offenders were unknown to law enforcement.

The follow-up report on the sex offender registration program is expected to be completed early this summer.

FBI offers $5,000 reward for information on missing Joplin woman Sarah Burton

The FBI announced today it is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for the disappearance of Sarah Burton, 29, Joplin.

Burton was last seen July 16

Complete text of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's statement provided

Two years ago, the Acting Attorney General asked me to serve as Special Counsel, and he created the Special Counsel’s Office.

The appointment order directed the office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.

I have not spoken publicly during our investigation. I am speaking today because our investigation is complete. The Attorney General has made the report on our investigation largely public. And we are formally closing the Special Counsel’s Office. As well, I am resigning from the Department of Justice and returning to private life.

I’ll make a few remarks about the results of our work. But beyond these few remarks, it is important that the office’s written work speak for itself.

Let me begin where the appointment order begins: and that is interference in the 2016 presidential election.

As alleged by the grand jury in an indictment, Russian intelligence officers who were part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system.

The indictment alleges that they used sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information, and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization WikiLeaks. The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate.

And at the same time, as the grand jury alleged in a separate indictment, a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation where Russian citizens posed as Americans in order to interfere in the election.

These indictments contain allegations. And we are not commenting on the guilt or innocence of any specific defendant. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

The indictments allege, and the other activities in our report describe, efforts to interfere in our political system. They needed to be investigated and understood. That is among the reasons why the Department of Justice established our office.

That is also a reason we investigated efforts to obstruct the investigation. The matters we investigated were of paramount importance. It was critical for us to obtain full and accurate information from every person we questioned. When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government’s effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.

Let me say a word about the report. The report has two parts addressing the two main issues we were asked to investigate.

The first volume of the report details numerous efforts emanating from Russia to influence the election. This volume includes a discussion of the Trump campaign’s response to this activity, as well as our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.

And in the second volume, the report describes the results and analysis of our obstruction of justice investigation involving the President.

The order appointing me Special Counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. We conducted that investigation and we kept the office of the Acting Attorney General apprised of the progress of our work.

As set forth in our report, after that investigation, if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.

We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime. The introduction to volume two of our report explains that decision.

It explains that under long-standing Department policy, a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view—that too is prohibited.

The Special Counsel’s Office is part of the Department of Justice and, by regulation, it was bound by that Department policy. Charging the President with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.

The Department’s written opinion explaining the policy against charging a President makes several important points that further informed our handling of the obstruction investigation. Those points are summarized in our report. And I will describe two of them:

First, the opinion explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting President because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents are available. Among other things, that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could now be charged.

And second, the opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing.

And beyond Department policy, we were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of an actual charge.

So that was the Justice Department policy and those were the principles under which we operated. From them we concluded that we would not reach a determination – one way or the other – about whether the President committed a crime. That is the office’s final position and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the President.

We conducted an independent criminal investigation and reported the results to the Attorney General—as required by Department regulations.

The Attorney General then concluded that it was appropriate to provide our report to Congress and the American people.

At one point in time I requested that certain portions of the report be released. The Attorney General preferred to make the entire report public all at once. We appreciate that the Attorney General made the report largely public. I do not question the Attorney General’s good faith in that decision.

I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak about this matter. I am making that decision myself—no one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter.

There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis, and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself.

The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.

In addition, access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office.

So beyond what I have said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress.

It is for that reason that I will not take questions here today.

Before I step away, I want to thank the attorneys, the FBI agents, the analysts, and the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. These individuals, who spent nearly two years with the Special Counsel’s Office, were of the highest integrity.

I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments—that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election.

That allegation deserves the attention of every American.

Thank you.


Live video- Special Counsel Robert Mueller speaks for the first time

Carthage man arrested on felony DWI, auto theft charges in Cooper County

Two months after being placed on probation for calling in a bomb threat to Webb City High School, Robert Lee Ritter, 42, Carthage, has been charged with felony driving while intoxicated and tampering with a motor vehicle following a Highway Patrol traffic stop in Cooper County.

Online Highway Patrol records indicate Ritter, who was stopped at 12:45 p.m. Monday, also faces charges of careless and imprudent driving and felony driving while revoked.

His passenger, Kelly M. Daniels, 42, Carthage, was charged with a felony Probation and Parole warrant for a parole violation and for second degree tampering with a motor vehicle.

Judge David Mouton sentenced Ritter to four years in prison and then placed him on supervised probation for five years March 25 after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of making a false bomb report.

According to the probable cause statement in that case, Ritter called in the bomb threat in an unsuccessful effort to keep a friend from receiving a traffic ticket. Ritter was a passenger in the car.

A felony assault charge that had been filed earlier in connection with Ritter's alleged stalking of a Carthage woman was also dismissed.

The probable cause statement from that case indicated the Carthage Police Department arrested Ritter after he allegedly entered the apartment of a Carthage woman without permission in June 2018 and threatened to "bash in the woman's skull."

Ritter knew the woman from work and was interested in having a relationship with her, according to the probable cause statement. Despite the woman telling Ritter she was not interested, he called her 20 times leaving voice messages, leading her to block him on the phone and from all social media.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Galena man whose 20-year prison sentence was commuted by President Obama pleads guilty to new meth trafficking charge

.A Galena man whose prison sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama during the final days of his administration pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Springfield to conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

Judge David P. Rush ordered a presentence investigation for Carroll Flowers, 68. No date has been set for the sentencing.

Grand jury indictment for Flowers and his co-defendant, Melissa A. Lowry, 43, Joplin, were unsealed January 15.

Flowers' crimes were detailed in the plea agreement filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

On December 6, 2017, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent (SA) Stacy Moore and FBI Task Force Officer Chad Comer met with a confidential informant (CI) regarding the methamphetamine distribution activities of LOWRY. 

The CI stated that he or she had previously purchased methamphetamine from LOWRY and could purchase an ounce of methamphetamine from her. 

Based upon the CI’s statements, SA Moore arranged for a controlled buy of methamphetamine from LOWRY. Before the controlled buy, SA Moore searched the CI’s vehicle and person for contraband with negative results. 

SA Moore then handed the CI $700 in U.S. currency and outfitted him or her with a recording device. SA Moore followed the CI to LOWRY’s residence, located at on West 4th Street, in Jasper County, within the Western District of Missouri. 

SA Moore observed the CI enter LOWRY’s residence. Approximately 32 minutes later, Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team (ODET) Detective Joe Houdyshell observed the CI exit the residence and enter his or her vehicle. ODET Detective Dave Abbott followed the CI as he or she traveled to a predetermined location. 

At the predetermined location, the CI handed SA Moore $375 in U.S. currency and approximately a half of an ounce of methamphetamine. The CI stated that LOWRY only had a half of an ounce to sell, however, LOWRY would be obtaining more methamphetamine possibly that day. The CI and his or her vehicle were again searched for contraband with negative results. 

On the same date, ODET Detective Matt Walker, based upon the controlled buy of methamphetamine from LOWRY, applied for and received a State of Missouri search warrant for LOWRY’s residence. 

On December 13, 2017, before the execution of the search warrant, SA Moore, accompanied by members of ODET, conducted surveillance of LOWRY’s residence. 

SA Moore observed LOWRY exit the residence and enter a Dodge Caliber. SA Moore followed the Dodge Caliber and observed LOWRY travel to the Discount Smokes Shop, then to the Dollar General, and finally to the residence of FLOWERS, located on Highway 166, in Baxter Springs, Kansas. 

After approximately an hour, Detective Houdyshell observed the Dodge Caliber leaving the residence followed by a Chevrolet Tahoe. 

Both vehicles traveled directly back to LOWRY’s residence. Once the vehicles arrived, LOWRY exited the Dodge Caliber and FLOWERS exited the driver’s side of the Chevrolet Tahoe. 

Both LOWRY and FLOWERS began to walk towards the residence. Members of ODET converged upon the residence to execute the search warrant. 

Detective Walker searched FLOWERS and found $2,731 in U.S. currency and 83.1 grams of pure methamphetamine, a distributive amount, inside three small bags. 

During a search of the LOWRY’s residence, in the only bedroom, inside a compartment in the dresser, Detective Walker found a black-zipped pouch that contained approximately 14 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale, and unused baggies.

The grand jury indictment was unsealed just four days prior to the two-year anniversary of President Obama's commutation of Flowers' 20-year sentence for meth trafficking.

According to the White House news release, Flowers was convicted June 19, 2002, of conspiracy to manufacture or distribute more than one kilogram of methamphetamine.

Under the terms of the commutation, the Federal Bureau of Prisons released Flowers on May 19, 2017.

Watch the Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting live

Ed Emery on Missouri anti-abortion law: It's not the unborn's child fault if the mother was raped or an incest victim

(From Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar)

Memorial Day should always remind us of those who have served and are serving in our armed forces. As we remember our fallen, we should also honor those whose commitment includes laying down their lives if necessary.

First responders is another group whose commitment goes beyond self. They were on the ground regardless of the danger last week as residents throughout Missouri were impacted by recent storms. All our thoughts and prayers go to the residents throughout Missouri who were impacted.

Three of my constituents lost their lives when a tornado ripped through the area of Golden City, and the region suffered significant property destruction. 

Later, an EF3 twister passed through Jefferson City. A number of historic homes near the Capitol building were among the many structures damaged. 

For information on recovery resources, or direction as to where you can donate or volunteer, please log onto the State Emergency Management Agency’s website at

It’s hard to imagine it was little more than a week ago that the Missouri General Assembly concluded its legislative activity for the year. We’ll come back to Jefferson City briefly in September for our annual veto session but, absent any unexpected special session, we’re finished passing laws until January 2020.

Lawmakers passed a statewide budget that spends $14 billion on social services, largely Medicaid. The School Foundation Formula, which funds K-12 classrooms, was fully funded at an ever-increasing level. Missouri will spend more than $6 billion on childhood education, with hardly any money allocated to supporting alternatives to failing public schools. The state’s public colleges and universities will receive $1.3 billion. Transportation accounts for $3 billion. The remaining 20 percent of Missouri’s $29 billion budget will fund all other government programs and services.

The First Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly will likely be remembered most for the strong stance we took in defense of unborn Missourians. 

House Bill 126, often referred to as “The Heartbeat Bill,” includes provisions that outlaw abortions after eight weeks, 14 weeks, 18 weeks and 20 weeks of fetal development. 

The bill is drafted so that if one or more of these thresholds is overturned in court, the rest will stand. The bill also prohibits selective abortions due to race or gender or because the child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. 

Some have criticized the absence of an exemption for rape or incest. They are forgetting that the bill considers the product of conception, not the means. The unborn bears neither responsibility nor guilt for the means.

Infrastructure investment, one of the governor’s priorities for 2019, was addressed by Senate Concurrent Resolution 14, which authorizes $301 million in bond-based borrowing and 50 million from general revenue to pay for the repair or replacement of distressed bridges throughout Missouri. Twelve bridges in the 31st Senatorial District are scheduled for work under the transportation improvement plan.

House Bill 192 allows parole boards to deviate from mandatory minimum sentences in cases that don’t involve violent or sexual offenses. The bill also prohibits jailing offenders solely for failure to pay fines. Other criminal justice reforms passed this year added more non-violent offenses to the list of charges eligible for expungement from criminal records and allow victims of domestic violence to break their leases if they need to move for personal safety reasons. In addition to the humanitarian aspects of the bill, it should also save the state money without sacrificing public safety.

In other measures, House Bill 220 clarifies Missouri’s tax law so that taxes from wind energy projects will benefit local communities. Among the many provisions of Senate Bill 147 is legislation that allows the operation of a motorcycle without a helmet, so long as the rider carries medical insurance. The same bill also increases the exemption from motor vehicle inspections for new vehicles from five years to 10 years, or 150,000 miles. Finally, Senate Concurrent Resolution 14, which encourages public schools to offer an elective course on the Bible, was approved.

The Legislature passed more than 90 bills and resolutions in 2019. Some of these merit further discussion and elaboration in future legislative reports. In the end, I’m hopeful most will think we did some good for the citizens of Missouri and relatively little harm. If so, it was a relatively good legislative session.

Agenda posted for tonight's Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education will meet 7 p.m. today in the Memorial Education Building. A closed session will be held at 6 p.m. to discuss personnel and legal matters.

The agenda for the public meeting is printed below:

A. Call to Order
1. Roll Call

B. Pledge of Allegiance

C. Approval of Agenda - Action

D. Reports

1. Board President's Report

a. Celebrations - Info (Sharrock Dermott)

1. Teacher of the Year - Joplin Schools Foundation
2. Support Staff of the Year - Joplin Schools Foundation
3. Read 180 National Award Winner Zander Boyes and Tashena Vickers (Teacher)
b. BOE Finance, Salary, and Benefits Committee (S. Dermott, B. Jordan, Dr. Joseph)
c. BOE Safety Committee (S. Dermott, L. Musser, Dr. Fort)
d. Long-Term Facilities Planning Committee - Info (S. Dermott, B. Jordan)

2. Superintendent's Data Report

a. Health & Dental Plan Update - Info. (Jamie Burmett)
b. Financial Statements - Info. (Dr. Lankford)
c. Enrollment Report - Info (Dr. Moss)

E. Public Comments Regarding Agenda Action Items

F. Constent Agenda - Action

1. Minutes - Action (Pat Waldo)

2. Consent Contract - Action (Dr. Moss)
a. Renewal of Financial Advisory Agreement - Action
b. School-Based Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Direct Services Cost Settlement Through the MO HealthNet Program - Action
c. School District Administrative Claiming Through the Medicaid Program - Action

3. Approval and Reporting of Time Sensitive Payments - Action (Dr. Lankford) 

4. Safeschools by Vector Solutions - Action (Sarah Mwangi)

5. School Messenger - Action (Sarah Mwangi)

6. FTC Adult Respiratory Care Graduate Payment to MSSU - Action (Dr. Moss)

7. Pest Control Service for the 2019/20 Fiscal Year - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

8. Fuel Bid - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

9. Policies for Second Reading Approval - Action (Dr. Moss)
a. Policy DG: Depository of Funds (Dr. Ron Lankford)
b. Policy GB: Part-time and Substitute Employment (Sarah Mwangi)
c. Policy GBAC: Staffing with and Employing Retirees (Sarah Mwangi)
d. Policy GCPB: Resignation of Professional Staff Members (Sarah Mwangi)
e. Policy GCPC: Retirement of Professional Staff Members - Action (Sarah Mwangi)
f. Policy GDPC: Retirement of Support Staff Members (Sarah Mwangi)
g. Policy GCBA: Professional Staff Compensation (Dr. Moss)
h. Policy GDBA: Support Staff Compensation (Dr. Moss)

G. Regular Agenda

1. JNEA Teacher Compensation Agreement - Action (Sarah Mwangi)

2. Salary Schedules Excluding JESP - Action (Dr. Lankford and Sarah Mwangi)

3. Accounts Payable - Action (Dr. Lankford) 

4. Fund Transfer Authority - Action (Dr. Lankford)

5. Change Order #004 Remodel of MEC for the Adult Technology Center - Action (Dr. Sachetta) 

6. Change Order #001 Turf Replacement at Junge Field - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

7. Purchase of LED Light Fixtures for Four Elementary Schools - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

8. Installation of LED Light Fixtures for Four Elementary Schools - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

9. English Languae Arts (ELA) Textbook Adoption Grades 2-5 - Action (Dr. Gilbreth)

H. Adjourn - Action

Monday, May 27, 2019

State treasurer to visit Joplin Tuesday, Wednesday to raise awareness of unclaimed property

(From State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick)

Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick and representatives from his office will visit Joplin on Tuesday and Wednesday this week to help return unclaimed property to Joplin residents.

Treasurer Fitzpatrick and Joplin-area legislators will also hold a media availability at the Joplin Public Library Wednesday, May 29 at 11:30 a.m. to raise awareness about unclaimed property in Jasper County and across the state.

On Tuesday, representatives from the Treasurer’s Office will be at the Northpark Mall in Joplin to help residents search for and file claims for unclaimed property. Find their booth from 3-7 p.m. across from the Bath & Body Works.

On Wednesday, the Office will be set up at the Joplin County Public Library from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. helping residents search for and file claims for unclaimed property.

Jasper County has over $14 million in unclaimed property—an amount likely made larger as a result of the 2011 tornado. Since March, the Office has proactively returned over $250,000 in unclaimed property to Jasper County residents. At the media availability, Treasurer Fitzpatrick will address ways to prevent future unclaimed property as severe weather continues to impact Missouri residents across the state.

Parson activates National Guard for duty in areas affected by tornadoes, flooding

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

Governor Mike Parson today activated the Missouri National Guard as the state continues to respond to damaging flooding, tornadoes, and severe storms and remains under the threat of additional flooding and severe storms this week.

“I have directed Major General Steve Danner to begin moving our Missouri Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen to locations where they will support our ongoing flood fighting efforts,” Governor Parson said.

“Missouri has been battling historic flooding since March, which is depleting local resources, and now flooding conditions in many parts of the state are only getting worse. In addition, communities from Carl Junction to Jefferson City are facing the challenge of recovering from tornadoes and severe storms, further challenging civilian resources. 

"The Guard has demonstrated its capabilities in response to natural disasters across Missouri, and I know they’ll make a difference at this critical time.”

The Governor today signed an executive order to activate the Guard. Under Executive Order 19-09, Guard units will be deployed to support Chariton County, by sandbagging to reinforce a stressed levee near Brunswick. The Guard will also be staging and utilizing high-water vehicles to support flood response operations in Jefferson City.

Governor Parson made the decision to activate the Guard after conferring with the state emergency management team, including officials from the Missouri Department of Public Safety, State Emergency Management Agency, and the Missouri National Guard.

Governor Parson also urged Missourians to continue to pay close attention to the weather this week and be prepared to take protective action, as additional severe storms are possible for parts of Missouri on Memorial Day, and there is an elevated risk of potentially damaging severe storms for much of the state on Tuesday, May 28.

On Tuesday, May 21, Governor Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri in response to the continuing severe weather and forecasts for tornadoes, strong straight-line winds, hail, heavy rainfall, and worsening flooding due to prolonged soil inundation throughout the state.

On Wednesday, May 22, Missouri was hit by a series of tornadoes and severe storms that killed three people and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes, including in Carl Junction, Golden City, Eldon, and Jefferson City.

In response to earlier flooding and storms this year, on May 20, President Donald Trump approved Governor Parson’s request for a major disaster declaration to help local governments and nonprofit agencies in 13 Missouri counties recover from devastating flooding and severe storms that occurred from March 11 to April 16.

That declaration made federal assistance available for the repair of damaged roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure, along with emergency response costs associated with the March 11 to April 16 storm system and flooding in Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Holt, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Platte, Ray, and Ste. Genevieve counties. The Governor’s April 24 request said $25 million in qualifying expenses had already been identified.